04/24/2021 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – Recently, religious leaders in Malaysia have called for religious harmony and national unity in the predominantly Muslim country, as radical Muslims are showing more hostilities towards religious minorities, especially Christians.
According to UCA News, Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), has urged all Malaysians to work toward creating a more pluralistic society.
The minister told the Malaysian National News Agency, “In Malaysia, Islam is enshrined as the religion of the federation, but freedom of religion has been practiced for a long time.” He added, “This right is enshrined in the federal constitution, not just for Islam but also for other religions as long as it does not disturb the peace, cause inconvenience or lead to harm towards any party.”
Shah Kirit Kakulal Govindji, president of the Global Unity Network, an Islamic organization that promotes “unity through knowledge,” also came out and support the minister’s view.
“The mentality and action of looking down on or insulting other religions should not exist in Malaysia,” the faith leader said. “We need to respect and abide by the right to freedom of religion guaranteed in this country.”
Last month, Malaysia’s High Court ruled that Christians in Muslim-majority Malaysia can use the word “Allah” in publications, causing distress to many radical Muslims. ICC reported that a Muslim woman issued violent anti-Christian threats online. A “Christian agenda expose” book published by the Selangor Islamic council, claiming that Muslims were “disturbed by Christian evangelists” who were trying to push for apostasy among Muslims, has also resurfaced online.
While Malaysia generally respects religious freedom, the Muslim authorities are very against conversion to other religions, especially for ethnic Malays, since they are presumed to be Muslims since birth.